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About AMA Style

The AMA (American Medical Association) Manual of Style provides guidelines for writing, editing and citing articles published in health sciences journals. It is written by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) editors and is used in articles published in AMA journals, as well as in many other scientific publications.

Elements of a complete AMA citation

A Complete citation includes the following data:
  • Authors' surnames & initials
    • Surname Middle initial (if given) last initial
    • Comma if there are additional authors
    • Period after the last author
    • List all authors if up to 6
    • If more than 6, list the 1st 3, followed by "et al"
  • Article title & subtitle (if any)
  • Abbreviated name of journal
  • Year
    • If online pre-pub (not yet in print/paginated version), use online publication date [month and day, year]
    • If online-only journal, use online publication date [month and day, year]
  • Volume number
  • Issue number
  • Part or supplement number (if pertinent)
  • Location
    • Pages
    • E-locator
  • DOI (if supplied)

In-Text Citations

In-Text Citation Rules

For in-text citations, AMA uses a superscript numbering system.

  • Begin with the number 1 for the first citation used in your work
  • Place the superscript number:
    • immediately next to the fact, idea, or quotation being cited
    • outside periods and commas
    • inside colons and semi-colons

Examples:

This drug is used to treat hepatitis.1

Storing latex at high heat may cause degradation, 2,3-5,7  but it is difficult to keep materials cool in a desert environment.

Some physicians choose to store prescription pads in locked cabinets8; others keep them in their coats at all times.9

 

  • Citing multiple references 

When more than two references are cited at a given place in the manuscript, use hyphens to join the first and last numbers of a closed series; use commas without space to separate other parts of multiple citations.  

Example: As reported previously,1,4-7,19,24

  • Avoid putting the superscript next to another number

The AMA recommends that you do not place a superscript reference citation immediately following a number, and advises that you revise the sentence to prevent any possible confusion with an exponent.

  • Author(s)' names in an in-text citation

You may use authors' names in your text, as long as those mentioned are accompanied by numbered citations. Use last names only. 

For items with one or two authors include both names.

Example: Smith and Jones2 reported on the questionnaire. 

For items with three or more authors, include the first author's surname and then 'et al.' or 'and colleagues'. 

Example: Hammersmith et al.3 reported on the survey.

 

Courtesy of University of Rochester River Campus Libraries. For more information see https://libguides.lib.rochester.edu/ama.

Reference Page: Books

Print Books

Rules

  • The title of a book is capitalized per title case rules 
  • The title of a book chapter (if applicable) is in sentence case (only the first letter is capitalized)
  • References that have six authors or fewer should include all authors' names (last name, initial(s). References with more than seven authors should include the first three authors followed by "et al."

Print Books - General 

Format: Author AA. Title of Book. Edition number. Location: Publisher; Year published. 

Example: Herr J. Creative Resources for the Early Childhood Classroom. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth & Cengage Learning; 2013.

Print Books -  Edited Book (chapters with different authors)

Format: Author AA. Chapter title. Editor, AA. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication: Page numbers.

Example: Yagyu S, Iehara T. MYCN nonamplified neuroblastoma: Detection of tumor-derived cell-free DNA in serum for predicting prognosis of neuroblastoma. In Hayat MA, ed. Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis, Therapy, and Prognosis. Dordrecht, NY: Springer; 2013:11-17.

 

Print Books - part of a Monograph Series

Format: Author AA. Chapter title. Editor, AA. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication: Series name and part number.

Davidoff RA. Migraine: Manifestations, Pathogenesis, and Management. Philadelphia, Pa: FA Davis; 1995. Contemporary Neurology Series; No 42.

 

Digital Books

Rules

  • The title of a book is capitalized per title case rules 
  • The title of a book chapter (if applicable) is in sentence case (only the first letter is capitalized)
  • References that have six authors or fewer should include all authors' names (last name, initial(s).
  • References with more than seven authors should include the first three authors followed by "et al."
  • Include the most direct URL possible and the date the article was accessed

Online Book - General 

Format: Author AA. Title of Book. Edition number. Location: Publisher; Year published. Access date and URL.

Example: Neinstein L, ed. Adolescent Health Care. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott W&W; 2008.  Accessed November 9, 2011. http://www.r2library.com/marc_frame.aspx?ResourceID=931

Online Edited Book (chapters with different authors)

Format: Author AA. Chapter title. Editor, AA. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication: Page numbers. Access date & URL.

Example: Kohn LT. Creating safety systems in health care organizations. In: Kohn, LT, Corrigan, JM, and Donaldson MS, eds. To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine; 2000. Accessed November 1, 2011. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.ptp?record_id=9728&page=155

Courtesy of University of Rochester River Campus Libraries. For more information see https://libguides.lib.rochester.edu/ama.

Reference Page: Journal Articles

Database Articles

Rules

  • The title of the journal article is in sentence case (only the first letter is capitalized).

  • Abbreviate and italicize the names of journals according to the listing in the National Library of Medicine database

  • References that have six authors or fewer should include all authors' names (last name, initial(s). References with more than 7 authors should include the first three authors followed by "et al."

  • Provide the DOI for online journal articles. If there is no DOI listed, include the most direct URL possible and the date the article was accessed. It is not necessary to include the access date if the article has a DOI.

Online journals with volume and page information (and without DOI, but with URL & accessed date)

Format: Author AA. Title of article. Abbreviated Name of Journal. Year; Volume(Issue): Page Information. DOI (or URL & Accessed Date if no DOI is assigned.)

Examples: 

1. Kapur VK,  Obstructive sleep apnea: diagnosis, epidemiology, and economics. Respir Care. 2010;55(9):1155-1167.  Accessed November 8, 2011. http://www.rcjournal.com/contents/09.10/09.10.1155.pdf

2. Ali SH, Al-Rubai S, Almahfooth W. The Assessment of Association Between Urinary Tract Infection and Premature Rupture of Membrane. HIV Nursing. 2023;23(2):417-421. Accessed April17, 2023. http://fscproxy.framingham.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rzh&AN=162044885&site=eds-live

Online journal without volume and page information (and with DOI)

Format:  Author AA. Title of the journal article. Abbreviated Name of Journal. Year; DOI 

Examples:

1. Mast CT, DeMuro-Mercon C, Kelly CM, Floyd LE, Walter EB. The impact of rotavirus gastroenteritis on the family. BMC Pediatrics. 2009; doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-11

2. Peralta LR, Yager Z, Prichard I. “There’s Just Something Really Peaceful About It”: a Qualitative Exploration of Mothers with Young Children and Engagement in Group-Based Physical Activity Programs. IJBM. 2022;29(6):807-819. doi:10.1007/s12529-022-10062-0

 

Print Journal Articles

The title of the journal article is in sentence case (only the first letter is capitalized).

  • Abbreviate and italicize the names of journals according to the listing in the National Library of Medicine database
  • References that have six authors or fewer should include all authors' names (last name, initial(s). References with more than 7 authors should include the first three authors followed by "et al."

Print journal 

Format: Author AA. Title of the journal article. Abbreviated Name of Journal. Year; Volume(Issue):Page Information

Example: Raux H, Coulon P, Lafay F, Flamand A. Monoclonal antibodies which recognize the acidic configuration of the rabies glycoprotein at the surface of the virion can be neutralizing. Virology. 1995;210(2):400-408

 

Courtesy of University of Rochester River Campus Libraries. For more information see https://libguides.lib.rochester.edu/ama.

The AMA Reference Page: How it Should Look

  • Your reference list must be in numerical order to reflect the order of your in-text citations. This means that your listing is not alphabetical.
  • Numbering: your reference list MUST use regular numbers (not superscripts!)
  • Spacing: each item listed in your reference list MUST be single-spaced (no spaces between lines)
  • Left justified: items in your reference list MUST be left justified.

Official AMA Style Support from the Journal of the American Medical Association

Our Favorite Other Online AMA Style Guides

AMA 11th Edition- QuickCiting and Writiing Handout

Video - AMA 11th Ed.- How to cite ---- Courtesy of Drexel University Library